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Ben Carson expounds on the US Constitution in 'A More Perfect Union'

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(Read caption) 'A More Perfect Union,' co-authored by Dr. Carson and his wife, Candy, uses the US Constitution to explore current events and controversial issues.

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Strike while the iron's hot.

It's an adage followed by many politicians, including former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, whose newest book hits shelves Tuesday, as the surprise 2016 GOP presidential candidate continues to surge in the polls.

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"A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties," co-authored by Dr. Carson and his wife, Candy, and published by Sentinel, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, uses the US Constitution to explore current events and controversial issues.

"As someone who has performed brain surgery thousands of times, I can assure you that the Constitution isn't brain surgery.... In our age of political correctness it's especially important to defend the Bill of Rights, which guarantees our freedom to speak, bear arms, practice our religion, and much more," Carson said in a preview of the book.

Carson, a celebrated retired pediatric neurosurgeon captured national attention when he criticized President Obama at a National Prayer Breakfast in 2013. His comments won him conservative fans who encouraged him to enter politics. He is now one of three surprise contenders in the GOP presidential race with no political experience who are surging in the polls. In the RealClearPolitics average of recent national polls, Trump runs first in the Republican field at 23 percent, followed by Carson at 17 percent, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina at 11 percent.

"A More Perfect Union" is one of at least seven books, many of which have become bestsellers, penned by the former neurosurgeon.

While the book is largely a 253-page primer of the 16-page Constitution covering the basics like the history, challenges to, and purpose of the founding document, Carson has recently used the topic as a means to speak out about controversial topics.

For example, he told USA Today's weekly paper, Capital Download, his philosophy on gun control is grounded in the Constitution. The lessons from the latest mass shooting aren't to enact more limits on guns, he says, but to identify and treat mentally ill people, arm teachers, and question whether gun-free zones attract shooters.

"If I had a little kid in kindergarten somewhere I would feel much more comfortable if I knew on that campus there was a police officer or somebody who was trained with a weapon," he told Capital Download. "If the teacher was trained in the use of that weapon and had access to it, I would be much more comfortable if they had one than if they didn't."

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Carson recently came under fire for making comments suggesting he would not support a Muslim in the White House, a comment critics called unconstitutional.

In September, Carson told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd he doesn’t believe Islam is compatible with the Constitution and “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”

In fact, the Constitution does not permit a national religion or a religious test for public office.

Still, Carson tells Fox News he wrote the book to educate others about the founding document

"Everyone knows we have a constitution but not many know what's in it, and the Constitution is there to protect us, the people," he told Fox News. "It's 16 and one-third pages long, written at the level of an 8th grader, and they did that specifically so the people would understand what the foundation of our country is," he said.